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Hands::◦ Writing requires strength and dexterity in our hands.Strength and dexterity depend on how we use the smallmuscles in our hands.
Forearms:◦ Children need to develop the muscles in their forearms toprovide strength and stability◦ Children must coordinate and use both the hand andforearm muscles to do things such as holding and usinga pencil, using scissors, handling coins and using variousutensils for eating.
Fingers:◦ The thumb, index and middle fingers carry out the skilledmovements in writing and other intricate activities, whilethe ring and baby fingers provide stability and increasestrength.
Brain:◦ Hand-eye coordination and sensory input are necessaryin the writing process.◦ The brain must coordinate sensations with what we seeso that we can make small changes for precisecoordination and muscle control.
Change how activities are done to encouragefinger use Lace large beads with strings Play with finger puppets and spinning tops. Twist caps onto small bottles or tubes oftoothpaste with one hand
Draw and scribble Roll, throw and catch large-sized balls Hide pennies, beads or other small objects inPlay-Doh, sand or rice tubs for your child to find. Draw shapes and lines on sandpaper or carpetsquares.
Make lines, shapes and lettersby finger painting orpainting with shaving cream Play shape and lettermatching or recognition games.
Stage 1 (1 year old)◦ Crinkles paper◦ Bangs crayons or other writing utensils on paper
Stage 2 (1-2 years old)◦ Randomly scribbles◦ Spontaneously scribblesin vertical/horizontalor circular directions◦ Paint with whole arm movements
Stage 3 (2-3 years old)◦ Imitates a horizontal line◦ Imitates a vertical line◦ Imitates a circle◦ Holds crayon with thumb and fingers instead of fist◦ Paint with wrist action, rather than whole armmovements
Stage 4 (3-4 years old)◦ Imitates a cross◦ Imitates a right/left diagonal◦ Imitates a square◦ put lines together to draw people
Stage 5 (4-5 years old)◦ Traces a line◦ Imitates a triangle◦ Imitates an X◦ Grasps pencil in writing position◦ color within the lines of thepicture◦ Print a few capital letters◦ practice writing first name
Stage 6 (5-6 years old)◦ demonstrate how simple shapescan be put together to makedrawings of people, animalsand objects◦ by age 6, most children havemastered the basicstrokes needed to formletters and numbers